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LETTER: Electoral Reform - No Party System

Contact The Guardian to submit a letter to the Editor.
Contact The Guardian to submit a letter to the Editor. - SaltWire Network


On the topic of electoral reform, we are being given two choices on the upcoming referendum, two choices which are essentially the same. Oh sure, one option may provide a different result party-wise, but that is the only difference. Under either option, we are being asked to vote for an individual whose first commitment, and first priority, is to the platform of the party and the party leader, not you or me. This means, logically, that constituents’ needs and wants will be no better than second on their priority list … and could even be third or fourth. This one option, which has not been, and will not be, offered is the Nunavut model. This system is devoid of any political party involvement; thereby offering a direct link between government and the public – totally free of ‘party politics.’ Just imagine what a refreshing change that would be – to have your concerns heard without a party connection. And, wonder of wonders, it has already proven to be a viable, functional system that works just fine, thank you – without all the strings attached that political parties and their leaders have with them. Now seriously, I don’t really expect any political party to support a system that basically calls for their own demise. So, it’s up to us, the voters, to bring and keep the Nunavut model as a viable option. And, in fact, the only viable option for true electoral reform. The very idea that any potential candidate must be approved by a party leader is in itself anti-democratic. Remember Larry McGuire? He was nominated by the Liberal membership in his riding, but poor Mr. Ghiz could not endorse him as the Liberal candidate even though the Liberal membership selected him. Apparently, Larry was considered a bit of a rebel by their leadership. So, the Liberals supported their number two choice and Larry ran unsuccessfully as an independent. In my view, all candidates in both federal and provincial elections should be 100 per cent party-free. I can’t even imagine how much money we would be able to save without the existence of political parties, but I’m sure it would be substantial. We will only achieve electoral reform when all candidates are totally committed to serving their constituents first without any strings or ties to a party, a leader, or anything except good governance. I will be writing in ‘The Nunavut Model’ when I vote on the issue, and urge all voters to consider doing likewise. We have outgrown the party system, and it is well beyond time to move on.

Shawn Landon,

Murray Harbour

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